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Crunch time for Olympic ticket payments

The 1.8 million fans who applied for tickets for next year's London 2012 Olympics have been told most payments will be taken by next week.

The London 2012 ticketing team emailed applicants yesterday stating "the vast majority of payments will be taken by next week, 31 May".

That means the next few days is key given very few bidders have reported having had money debited yet.

Anyone who bid for a ticket was told payments would be taken at some point between 16 May and 10 June.

While this window still applies, yesterday's guidance gives sports fans at least a small degree of certainty, even though it is still not clear when exactly cash will debited.

Part of the problem with the system is not only do you not know when payment will be taken but you have no idea how much will be debited given many events are vastly oversubscribed so many will miss out.

Because of the uncertainty, many bid for far more events than they can realistically afford. One applicant is reported to have bid for £35,000 worth of tickets.

You will be told by 24 June which tickets you have got, though if you check your statement to see what is debited, that may provide some clue.

Did you bid for a ticket? What to do next

You should check your statement immediately to see if you have enough in your account were you to get all tickets you applied for.

If not, you should transfer money from other accounts, if possible, to cover the cost. But also consider you may need cash in your account for other expenses.

An alternative is to speak to your bank or credit card company to get an extension to your limit, if possible.

If you log-in to find you've been debited and subsequently gone beyond your limit, you could get hit with bank charges of up to £40 a time.

So follow the same steps above to replenish your account. If that's not possible then ask your bank or card company to be lenient.

What if you don't have the cash?

If you're short of cash your application could be declined, potentially meaning no tickets.

In addition, you may get bank charges, whether or not the payments is accepted.

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